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Author Topic: 4/3 delivering on the small/light promise...  (Read 12582 times)
Er1kksen
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« on: March 05, 2008, 06:05:20 AM »
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So here it is, the first DLSR you really can just toss in your pocket. And the biggest surprise? A tiny, inexpensive 50mm equivalent f2.8 pancake lens. It's what I've been fantasizing about for months. Focuses to 15cm, too.

And the wonderful IQ of the E-3 (which may or may not be equal to the general IQ of the canon and nikon offerings in its price point, we already have some threads about that) is bound to be found here, with either the same sensor or possibly an even slightly improved one. I think this raises it to the level of competitive (IQ-wise) with the rest of its entry-level competition. If it handles jpegs the same way the E-3 does, it may actually give better results for consumer snapshooters who only shoot jpeg.

Once prices come down, I'll get one. I said I wouldn't upgrade until I could get 12mp, but I was thinking along the lines of consumer-sensor 12mp. If it's got the E-3's sensor, the extra 2mp doesn't really matter to me.

Sound interesting to anyone else?
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Kenneth Sky
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« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2008, 07:39:12 AM »
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Without being perjorative, I think it's main market will be women (or men with small hands). I know my wife measures the value of a camera by how well it fits in her purse. She constantly ridicules me for shlepping my A700 with vertical grip and a couple of lenses where ever we go. The 25 mm lens reminds me of my Oly Pen F pancake lens. Although I'm not a fan of the 4/3 system, I really believe Olympus may have found a niche market.
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DarkPenguin
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« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2008, 08:08:01 AM »
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Or, as noted over at the online photographer, its market might just be the market the sigma dp1 was going after.  I know people who want to get the image quality of a dslr but find even the canon 400D to be huge.
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NikosR
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« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2008, 08:24:28 AM »
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The E420 is exactly the same size and 5g heavier than other Oly dSLRs before it (and not significantly smaller than dSLRs from other manufacturers, e.g. Nikon D40/60, Canon 400D). Granted the combo with the pancake lens make it a small package but the camera itself is not revolutionary size wise. Marketing talk.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2008, 08:29:24 AM by NikosR » Logged

Nikos
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« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2008, 09:46:05 AM »
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The E420 is exactly the same size and 5g heavier than other Oly dSLRs before it (and not significantly smaller than dSLRs from other manufacturers, e.g. Nikon D40/60, Canon 400D). Granted the combo with the pancake lens make it a small package but the camera itself is not revolutionary size wise. Marketing talk.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=179288\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I disagree about the size.  When you start shrinking things down to that size small differences are big.  But it is the combo with that pancake that makes it a really small package.

Now if they bundled it with a 20mm (40 equiv) prime I'd be all over it.
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BJL
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« Reply #5 on: March 05, 2008, 01:56:41 PM »
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The E420 is exactly the same size and 5g heavier than other Oly dSLRs before it (and not significantly smaller than dSLRs from other manufacturers, e.g. Nikon D40/60, Canon 400D).
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=179288\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
The E-410 is 5g heaver than the lightest of all DSLR's, the E-400 and E-410, but significantly lighter than any other DSLR including most other Olympus DSLR's: about 440g with battery, compared to 490g for the Olympus E-510, 522g for the Nikon D60, 556g for the 400D, and 690g for the Pentax K200D, the lightest non-FourThirds DSLR for which pancake lenses are available.

What other DSLR body and lens combination comes closest to the roughly 535g of the E-420 with 25/2.8 lens and battery?

Also, the body is distinctly less deep than almost any other, in particular being shallower at the lens mount due to the shorter "flange to focal plane" distance of the FourThirds mount specification. The  shallow "lens mount to body back" distance combined with the pancake lens (none such available for EF-S or DX) reduces the total depth of the body with lens, the dimension that is probably most important to the "pocketability" of a camera.

I agree with other comments that women are likely a major E-420 target market, as is already the case with the E-410: check out the color options for the new leather cases and straps for the E-410 and E-420. But some men like me are also interested in a light, pocketable camera with interchangeable lenses.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2008, 02:01:00 PM by BJL » Logged
Robert Roaldi
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« Reply #6 on: March 05, 2008, 02:43:35 PM »
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I don't understand the comments that the camera has limited appeal, e.g., to women and a selection of males. It will probably appeal to all the same people who liked small 35 mm cameras from Oly, Pentax, and others. Judging from their presence on auction sites, cameras of that size were pretty popular then, so why wouldn't they be now?
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Er1kksen
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« Reply #7 on: March 05, 2008, 03:29:43 PM »
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Well, back when I used to use only my OM-1 and my friend was always toting around his 20d w/ a long tele and battery grip, it was kind of summed up when one of my somewhat duller colleagues started talking about my camera.. he started on the fact that it looked cool (sophisticated opinion, no?) but quickly stated that I was essentially a loser and that my canon-using friend had a much better camera. Granted, the 20d is in many ways a much more versatile camera than an old OM-1 loaded with tri-x; I'm not going to argue about that. But when asked why he thought my friends camera was better, he replied, "I dunno, it's... bigger... and stuff..."

So there are always the people who think that way.

Then there's the nice solid feel of a good molded grip attached to the just-right heft of a mid-size DSLR. Some people prefer that.
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jani
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« Reply #8 on: March 05, 2008, 06:21:30 PM »
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But when asked why he thought my friends camera was better, he replied, "I dunno, it's... bigger... and stuff..."
If it isn't large and solid enough to use for self defense, it's not a Real SLR.

 
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Jan
Er1kksen
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« Reply #9 on: March 05, 2008, 07:52:51 PM »
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I suspect that a nice solid metal OM-1 with its pointy edges would actually be more useful in a fight than a modern plastic wonder with fragile-looking long lens attached...

 
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Jonathan Wienke
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« Reply #10 on: March 06, 2008, 09:05:52 AM »
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A 70-200/2.8L IS may look fragile, but it would probably crack a skull without suffering too much damage...

But this looks like it might fit the niche of "digicam size/weight, DSLR quality" reasonably well.
« Last Edit: March 06, 2008, 09:09:06 AM by Jonathan Wienke » Logged

DarkPenguin
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« Reply #11 on: March 06, 2008, 09:08:30 AM »
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A 70-200/2.8L IS may look fragile, but it would probably crack a skull without suffering too much damage...
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=179572\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

It doesn't look fragile.  It looks like it should have V2 painted on its side.  (Or maybe I'm thinking of the 300f2.8 IS.)
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DarkPenguin
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« Reply #12 on: March 06, 2008, 09:19:04 AM »
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I don't understand the comments that the camera has limited appeal, e.g., to women and a selection of males. It will probably appeal to all the same people who liked small 35 mm cameras from Oly, Pentax, and others. Judging from their presence on auction sites, cameras of that size were pretty popular then, so why wouldn't they be now?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=179383\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
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Atlasman
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« Reply #13 on: March 06, 2008, 05:22:37 PM »
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Without being perjorative, I think it's main market will be women (or men with small hands). I know my wife measures the value of a camera by how well it fits in her purse. She constantly ridicules me for shlepping my A700 with vertical grip and a couple of lenses where ever we go. The 25 mm lens reminds me of my Oly Pen F pancake lens. Although I'm not a fan of the 4/3 system, I really believe Olympus may have found a niche market.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=179269\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

From the verbage of their press release (Olympus) it seems this camera is meant for the point and shoot market. But sadly, without IS, it will have limit appeal in this market.
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DarkPenguin
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« Reply #14 on: March 06, 2008, 05:36:35 PM »
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From the verbage of their press release (Olympus) it seems this camera is meant for the point and shoot market. But sadly, without IS, it will have limit appeal in this market.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=179670\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

IS is the bane of photography.  It has allowed companies to think that producing a lens that goes from f-google to f-googleplex is a great idea because IS will save you.  (I'm looking at you canon with your 17-85.)
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Er1kksen
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« Reply #15 on: March 06, 2008, 09:07:15 PM »
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I'm pretty sure it was one of the cheaper white canon teles, as he later seemed astonished that my friend's old yashica had a zoom lens that had a constant aperture of 3.5...
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PSA DC-9-30
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« Reply #16 on: March 07, 2008, 01:40:49 AM »
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Any guesses as to when we'll see an announcement for the E-520? What features will it have??
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Atlasman
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« Reply #17 on: March 09, 2008, 12:20:52 PM »
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IS is the bane of photography.  It has allowed companies to think that producing a lens that goes from f-google to f-googleplex is a great idea because IS will save you.  (I'm looking at you canon with your 17-85.)
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=179676\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
IS is just a safety net to camera shake, nothing else.

But when a company such as Olympus, who believes in sensor-based stabilization, and has NO LENS BASED STABILIZATION on any of its glass, produces a camera without IS, marketing better re-think the product line and positioning.
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BJL
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« Reply #18 on: March 11, 2008, 12:10:31 PM »
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... when a company such as Olympus ... produces a camera without IS, marketing better re-think the product line and positioning.
[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
The Olympus product line includes the E-510 for those to whom IS is worth some increase in size, weight and cost, leaving the E-410 and E-420 mostly for those who put a higher priority on size and weight.

Is there enough market for the smaller, lighter, unstabilized E-420 in competition with models like the E-510 and the other even bulkier stabilized options in other brands? I do not know, but Olympus surely knew how well the E-410 was selling alongside competition like the E-510 when it decided to produce the E-420. So I am inclined to think that Olympus marketing understands the market situation at least as well as us self-styled experts in internet forums do.


P. S. An apparent leak at the Olympus UK web-site suggests that an E-520, with IS, will be announce soon. The page was changed later, but here is a cached version:
[a href=\"http://72.14.205.104/search?q=cache%3Ahttp%3A%2F%2Fwww.olympus.co.uk%2Fconsumer%2Fdslr_6839.htm&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US%3a%6ffficial&client=firefox-a]http://72.14.205.104/search?q=cache%3Ahttp...lient=firefox-a[/url]
« Last Edit: March 11, 2008, 12:12:06 PM by BJL » Logged
DarkPenguin
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« Reply #19 on: March 11, 2008, 12:21:23 PM »
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The E-420 is cheap enough and has the tiny size niche that will probably keep it in my glove box.  If I had to spend much more to try an Oly I wouldn't.  I'd just buy another canon lens.

So from a marketing standpoint they get me in the door.
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